Kanye West delivered a lengthy rant on Sunday night while accepting the 2015 Michael Jackson Vanguard Award. What might have gone down in history as the longest acceptance speech in awards show history, included a diss to MTV and the announcement of a presidential candidacy.
Taylor Swift presented Yeezy with the coveted award and drew reference to the infamous 2009 encounter when West bombarded the stage as she accepted the award for Best Female Video. That very moment became the conversation piece surrounding Yeezy’s speech. “First of all thank you Taylor in being so gracious and giving me this award this evening,” Ye started after receiving a stellar standing ovation.
West continued, “I think about when I’m in the grocery store with my daughter and I have a really great conversation about fresh juice … and at the end they say, ‘oh you’re not that bad after all.’ It crosses my mind sometimes like when I go to a baseball game and 60,000 boo me. If I had a daughter at the time, would I have gone on stage and grabbed the mic from someone else.”
“The problem was the contradiction. The contradiction is I do fight for artists, but in that fight I somehow was disrespectful to artists,” the 37-year-old said, “I didn’t know how to say the right thing, the perfect thing.”
And then, Yeezy managed to hit MTV (the folks giving him the award) with a major diss. “I’m not no politician bro … You know how many times MTV ran that footage again because it got them more ratings. Do you know how many times they announced Taylor was going to give me the award because it got them more ratings,” he said. “I still don’t understand these award shows. I don’t understand how they get five people who work their entire life, one sale records, sell concert tickets to come, stand on a carpet and for the first time in their life be judged on a chopping block and have the opportunity to be considered a loser.”
The rapper then ended the rambling speech by announcing his presidential candidacy in 20/20. “And yes, as you probably could’ve guessed by this moment, I have decided in 2020 to run for president.”
Drop the mic.
Exclusive: The Bullet Scars That Will Forever Haunt Sheryl Lee Ralph’s Son, Etienne Maurice
Sheryl Lee Ralph shared a graphic photo on Instagram earlier this week of her son, Etienne Maurice, laying in a hospital bed bandaged up from bullet wounds. The purpose of the image was to be yet another voice calling to end gun violence.
On Wednesday, students across the country walked out of class to protest against gun violence, something that hit home for Ralph four years ago. “This mother wants #gunreform now! #guncontrol now,” she wrote.
It was during a night out in West Philadelphia that Ralph’s then 22-year-old child was robbed at gunpoint and shot three times; twice in the leg and one which grazed his forehead.
So as Ralph joined Wednesday’s national conversation about gun laws, HipHollywood talked exclusively with Etienne who shared exactly what went down the night a gun could have taken his life for good.
“I was shot four years ago, November 9 … I was black out drunk. The next thing I know I remember I woke up in the hospital, doctor said I had two bullet holes in my leg and a grazed bullet hole above my eyebrow.”
Maurice, who was robbed for his iPhone and his wallet, went on to tell us that this is something that he is reminded of constantly. “Having been shot is something that I carry with me every day. I still have numbness at the bottom of my leg from the nerve damage.”
And while he will always remember how he felt knowing his life almost ended, Etienne had a hard time fathoming how his famous mother felt. “We had the conversation about it last week and she said she peed on herself,” he told us.
For Maurice, he’s proud to see young children use their voices to make change. “There’s so many angles where we can talk about gun violence and how it’s effecting different communities,” he said. “Gun reform needs to take place now.”
Since that night, he hasn’t picked up a drink and has been now sober for four years. As for the suspects, a father-son duo, they are behind bars for attempted man slaughter.
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